Angelo Nikolopoulos

My Desire Has Made Me Radiantly Unspecial-

  a spoon among spoons.
When we argue I go out at night

to the eucalyptus grove alone to stew.
That’s dramatic but it’s local.

But if it’s my darkness that matters
then I’ll matter the dark too, the way plants do.

I like the soggy moss, the diaphanous foghorn.
It makes me feel naked

and molecular. Look, here’s what it’s come to:
you are safe and dry somewhere else,

and I’m tired of being a ten-fingered thing, belligerent.
I don’t want to be too Buddhist about it

but when the foliage stirs
I get unhooked from myself, my awful oars.

A naughty vanishing act—
I become many-bellied and inarticulate,

as multifarious as root in the soil.
What is the contour of the living? I exist

and I am burrowed
and I am loving this world, piecemeal—

partly because I have no choice in the matter,
partly because you are in it.

I could become rock and birch-bark,
I could destroy the ego,

but what good would that do? I’m a simple darling.
I enjoy my amenities,

my washing machine, your box of tools.
We’ve filled our house with innumerable goods.

Beyond these bending trees,
my fear is wet-haired and brackish:

I have climbed myself out to the edge tonight
and I will climb myself back.

Angelo Nikolopoulos is the recipient of the 2011 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize and a graduate of NYU’s Creative Writing Program. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best New Poets 2011, Boston Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, Gay and Lesbian Review, Los Angeles Review, Meridian, Mudfish and New York Quarterly. He hosts The White Swallow Reading Series in NYC.